Culture, Experience, Gourmet,

Travel around the world without leaving Tokyo! “Minato City World Festival 2019”

Carnival

The Minato ward (also known as Minato City or Minato-ku) in Tokyo is one of the most international wards in the city, with many foreigners living here. One of the reasons might be because more than half of the foreign embassies in Japan are located inside Minato City. Between January and March every year, an event is held to connect the many different countries and cultures of the world. This is “Minato City World Festival”!

For this event, you need a passport! …not your real one, but a special “passport” that can pick up at the Minato Ward Office (Kuyakusho), the Minato City Tourism Information Center, the Minato City libraries, most hotels, and also starting this year: at shopping streets inside Minato City. Let’s go!

passport

On the right: This year’s passport looks like this

Once you got your passport, you can participate in the following events!

① “Minato City Stamp Rally of Embassies and Diplomatic Missions” January 16 – March 24

In this event, you use a “passport” to collect stamps at embassies in Minato City. If you gather 5 or more stamps, you can participate in a lottery at the “Minato City World Carnival” (held on March 24).

Afghanistan

At the embassy of Afghanistan

One thing that makes this event special is that you can enter some of the embassies. Usually, most embassies aren’t open to the public. This event is your chance to take a glimpse of different countries and cultures! Because visiting times and conditions vary depending on the embassy, please check the English information inside your passport!

stamps

Collecting stamps

② “Minato City Shopping Street World Card Rally” January 16 – March 24

Every time you shop or eat at one of the 90 participating shops listed in your “passport”, you receive a “World Card”, each introducing one of 82 countries around the world.

world cards

This is what a “world card” looks like

When you collect 5 cards, you can participate in the lottery on March 24 at the “Minato City World Carnival”.

world cards

Yena and I “busy” collecting world cards

It’s a great opportunity to discover shops loved by locals that maybe aren’t listed in guidebooks for tourists!

③ “Minato City World Carnival” March 24 (Sun)

World Carnival

At the venue right beneath Tokyo Tower

For this final event, booths from various countries gather around Tokyo Tower. In addition to sightseeing information, you get the change to learn something about the culture and history of different countries. Of course – since hey, we are in Japan! – there is great food, too. Why not try to play an exotic musical instrument or put on a traditional costume! Maybe you will even find a booth from your country.

Carnival

Yummy!

A highlight of the “Minato City World Carnival” is the lottery. Depending on how many stamps you have collected at the embassies, you can try your luck (5 stamps = 1 time). At the lottery, you can win different, fun prizes. You can also take part depending on how many “world cards” you have collected through making purchases at certain shops or dining at restaurants (5 cards = 1 time).

World Carnival

Yena at the lottery booth


Further information (Japanese):

http://www.world-festival.jp

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writer

I was born and raised in Kiel/Germany. When I was 16 I came to Japan for the first time. I fell in love with this beautiful country, so I returned after my university graduation. Since then, I have been living in Tokyo - and I don't plan to change anything about that ;-) My hobbies are taking a stroll around the city, taking photos and drinking coffee.

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